ABB has won a contract from Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to deliver eight mid-range Azipod® propulsion systems for four newbuilding medium-sized cruise vessels.
The ships are due for delivery in 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027, respectively.
“We are looking forward to working with our long-term, trusted partner ABB on these newbuilds that promise optimum sustainability, passenger comfort and safety,” said Massimo Costa, Fincantieri’s Vice President Purchasing Merchant Ships Division.
“Azipod® propulsion system has demonstrated its value in the cruise sector over three decades and has become the industry standard, meaning that the customer can count on proven technology and unparalleled experience.”
The passenger ships will be equipped with two 7.7 MW Azipod® propulsion units per vessel. This system meets the design requirements of modern medium-sized vessels, while the ability of Azipod® technology to optimise manoeuvrability and reduce vibrations and noise provides smoother, safer cruising and ensures an enhanced guest experience.
With the electric drive motor housed within a pod outside the ship’s hull, the system can rotate 360 deg, increasing manoeuvrability and allowing vessels to berth in harbours where turning circles are restricted.
Azipod® propulsion also improves a ship’s hydrodynamic performance and cuts fuel consumption by up to 20%, compared with a traditional shaftline setup.
Space saved by locating the motor outside the ship allows for more flexible design and frees up space for cabins, cargo or other features.
“We are honoured to supply an integrated propulsion system to ensure the ultimate cruise experience on board these four vessels,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports.
“This order represents a significant milestone for our advanced mid-range Azipod® propulsors, once again demonstrating their environmental and operational benefits.”
This system features ABB’s fourth-generation permanent magnet motors, which have been refined for added power and efficiency, while a simple but robust design offers ease of maintenance and reliability.
Its compatibility with alternative energy sources makes it a future-proof solution that is ready to work with new, cleaner fuels, as soon as these become available, ABB said.
In addition to the two Azipod® units, ABB’s will supply propulsion drives, transformers and control systems. The comprehensive setup offers high system redundancy to further promote safety and reliability.